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THE INVERTER

DYNAMICS

[Adapted from Rabaeys Digital Integrated Circuits, 2002, J. Rabaey et al.]


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Inverter Dynamics
Dynamic Behavior
Delay Definitions
Voltage Transfer Characteristic
Switching Threshold
Propagation Delay
Transient Response
Inverter Sizing
Power Dissipation
Short Circuit Currents
Technology Scaling
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Dynamic Behavior
Propagation Delay, Tp
Defines how quickly output is affected by input
Measured between 50% transition from input to
output
tpLH defines delay for output going from low to high
tpHL defines delay for output going from high to low
Overall delay, tp, defined as the average of tpLH and
tpHL
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Dynamic Behavior
Rise and fall time, Tr and Tf
Defines slope of the signal
Defined between the 10% and 90% of the
signal swing
Propagation delay and rise and fall times
affected by the fan-out due to larger
capacitance loads
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Delay Definitions
Vin

50%
t
t
Vout

t
pLH

pHL

90%
50%
10%

tf
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tr

The Ring Oscillator


A standard method is needed to measure the
gate delay
It is based on the ring oscillator
2Ntp >> tf + tr for proper operation

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Ring Oscillator
v1

v0

v0

v2

v1

v3

v4

v5

T = 2 tp N
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v5

Voltage
Transfer
Characteristi
c

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CMOS Inverter Load


Characteristics
VDD

S
D

Vin

Vout
CL

D
G
S

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PMOS Load Lines


VDD

IDn

V in = V DD +VGSp
IDn = - IDp
V out = VDD +VDSp

S
D

Vin

Vout

Vout
IDp

CL

D
G
Vin=0

IDn

IDn

V in=3

VGSp=-2
VGSp=-5

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V DSp
Vin = V DD+VGSp
IDn = - IDp

Vin=0
Vin=3

VDSp

Vout = V DD+VDSp

Vout

CMOS Inverter Load Lines

IDn (A)

PMOS

NMOS

X 10-4

Vin = 0V

Vin = 2.5V

Vin = 0.5V

Vin = 2.0V

Vin = 1.0V

Vin = 1V Vin = 1.5V


Vin = 0.5V

Vin = 2V

Vin = 1.5V

Vin = 1.0V
Vin = 0.5V

Vin = 1.5V
Vin = 2.0V

Vin = 2.5V

Vout (V)

Vin = 0V

0.25um, W/Ln = 1.5, W/Lp = 4.5, VDD = 2.5V, VTn = 0.4V, VTp = -0.4V
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CMOS Inverter VTC


NMOS off
PMOS res

Vout (V)

NMOS sat
PMOS res

NMOS sat
PMOS sat

NMOS res
PMOS sat

Vin (V)
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NMOS res
PMOS off

Cutoff

Linear

Saturation

pMOS

Vin -VDD= VGS> VT

Vin -VDD=VGS< VT

Vin -VDD=VGS> VT

Vin -Vout=VGD< VT

Vin -Vout=VGD>VT

nMOS

Vin = VGS< VT

Vin =VGS> VT

Vin =VGS> VT

Vin -Vout =VGD> VT

Vin -Vout =VGD< VT

VDD

Regions of operations
For nMOS and pMOS
V
In CMOS inverter

S
D

in

Vout

D
G
S
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CL

CMOS Inverter Load Characteristics


For valid dc operating points:
current through NMOS = current through
PMOS
=> dc operating points are the intersection of
load lines
All operating points located at high or low
output levels
=> VTC has narrow transition zone
high gain of transistors during switching
transistors in saturation
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high transconductance (gm)

Switching Threshold

VM where Vin = Vout (both PMOS and NMOS in


saturation since VDS = VGS)
VM rVDD/(1 + r) where r = kpVDSATp/knVDSATn
Switching threshold set by the ratio r, which
compares the relative driving strengths of the PMOS
and NMOS transistors
Want VM = VDD/2 (to have comparable high and low
noise margins), so want r 1
(W/L)p = knVDSATn(VM-VTn-VDSATn/2)
(W/L)n kpVDSATp(VDD-VM+VTp+VDSATp/2)

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Switch Threshold Example

In 0.25 m CMOS process, using


parameters from table, VDD = 2.5V, and
minimum size NMOS ((W/L)n of 1.5)
VT0(V)

(V0.5)

VDSAT(V)

k(A/V2)

(V-1)

NMOS

0.43

0.4

0.63

115 x 10-6

0.06

PMOS

-0.4

-0.4

-1

-30 x 10-6

-0.1

(W/L)p 115 x 10-6 0.63 (1.25 0.43 0.63/2)


=

(W/L)n -30 x 10-6 -1.0

(1.25 0.4 1.0/2)

(W/L)p = 3.5 x 1.5 = 5.25 for a VM of 1.25V


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= 3.5

Simulated Inverter VM
VM is relatively insensitive to
variations in device ratio
setting the ratio to 3, 2.5
and 2 gives VMs of 1.22V,
1.18V, and 1.13V

VM (V)

Increasing the width of the


PMOS moves VM towards VDD

~3.4

.1

(W/L)p/(W/L)n
Note: x-axis is semilog
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Noise Margins
Determining VIH and VIL
3

By definition, VIH and VIL are where


dVout/dVin = -1 (= gain)

VOH = VDD

Vout

2
VM

VOL = GND 0

VIL

Vin VIH
A piece-wise linear
approximation of VTC
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NMH = VDD - VIH


NML = VIL - GND
Approximating:
VIH = VM - VM /g
VIL = VM + (VDD - VM )/g
So high gain in the transition
region is very desirable

Vout (V)

CMOS Inverter VTC from


Simulation
0.25um, (W/L)p/(W/L)n = 3.4
(W/L)n = 1.5 (min size)
VDD = 2.5V

2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0

VM 1.25V, g = -27.5
VIL = 1.2V, VIH = 1.3V
NML = NMH = 1.2

0.5

1
Vin (V)

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1.5

2.5

(actual values are


VIL = 1.03V, VIH = 1.45V
NML = 1.03V & NMH = 1.05V)

Output resistance
low-output = 2.4k
high-output = 3.3k

Gain Determinates
Vin
0

0.5

0
-2
-4

gain

-6

1.5

Gain is a function of the current slope


in the saturation region, for Vin = VM
(1+r)
g ---------------------------------(VM-VTn-VDSATn/2)(n - p )

-8
-10
-12
-14
-16
-18

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Determined by technology
parameters, especially .
Only designer influence through
supply voltage and VM (transistor
sizing).

Vout (V)

Variation
2.5
2
1.5
Bad PMOS
1 Good NMOS
0.5
0
0 0.5 1

Good PMOS
Bad NMOS
Nominal

Vin (V)

1.5

2.5

Pprocess variations (mostly) cause a shift in the switching

threshold
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Vout (V)

Vout (V)

Scaling the Supply Voltage

Gain=-1

Vin (V)
Device threshold voltages are
kept (virtually) constant

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Vin (V)
Device threshold voltages are
kept (virtually) constant

Propagation
Delay

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Switch Model of Dynamic


Behavior
VDD

VDD

Rp
Vout

Vout
CL

Rn

CL

Vin = V DD
Vin = 0
Gate response time is determined by the time to charge C L
through Rp (discharge CL through Rn)
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What is the Inverter Driving?


VDD

VDD
M2
Vin

Cg4

Cdb2

Cgd12

M4

Vout

M1

Cdb1

Cw

Vout2

Cg3

M3

Interconnect

Fanout
Simplified
Model

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Vin

Vout
CL

Delay
Approach 1
VDD

tpHL = CL Vswing/2
Iav
Vout

Iav

Vin = V DD
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CL

CL
kn VDD

CMOS Inverter Propagation


Delay
Approach 2
VDD

tpHL = f(Ron.CL)
= 0.69 RonCL
Vout
CL
Ron

ln(0.5)

Vout
1

VDD

Vout VOH e

t /( Ron C L )

0.5
0.36

Vin = V DD
RonCL
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CMOS Inverter: Transient Response


How can the designer build a fast gate?
tpHL = f(Ron*CL)
Keep output capacitance, CL, small
low fan-out
keep interconnections short (floor-plan
your layout!)
Decrease on-resistance of transistor
increase W/L ratio
make good contacts (slight effect)
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MOS Transistor Small Signal Model


G

+
vgs

gmvgs

Define

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ro

Determining VIH and VIL

VIH and VIL are based on derivative of VTC equal


to -1
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Transient Response

3
2.5

tp = 0.69 CL
(Reqn+Reqp)/2

2
Vout(V)

tpLH

tpHL

1.5
1

0.5
0
-0.5
0

0.5

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t (sec)

1.5

2.5

-10

x 10

Inverter Transient
Response
3

VDD=2.5V
0.25m
W/Ln = 1.5
W/Lp = 4.5
Reqn= 13 k ( 1.5)
Reqp= 31 k ( 4.5)

Vin

2.5
2

Vout (V)

1.5

tpHL

tf

tpLH

tr

0.5

tpHL = 36 psec

tpLH = 29 psec

-0.5
0

0.5

1.5

t (sec)

2.5

x 10-10

From simulation: tpHL = 39.9 psec and


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so
tp = 32.5 psec

tpLH = 31.7 psec

Delay as a function of VDD


5.5
5

tp(normalized)

4.5
4
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.8

1.2

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1.4

1.6

VDD(V)

1.8

2.2

2.4

Sizing Impacts on Delay


x 10-11

3.8

for a fixed load

3.6

The majority of improvement is


obtained for S = 5.

3.4
3.2

Sizing factors larger than 10


barely yields any extra gain
(and cost significantly more
area).

tp(sec)

3
2.8
2.6
2.4
2.2
2
1

S
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11

13

15

self-loading effect
(intrinsic capacitance
dominates)

PMOS/NMOS Ratio Effects


x 10-11

tpLH

tpHL

tp(sec)

tp

= (W/Lp)/(W/Ln)

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of 2.4 (= 31 k/13 k)
gives symmetrical
response
of 1.6 to 1.9 gives
optimal performance

Input Signal Rise/Fall Time

The input signal changes gradually


(and both PMOS and NMOS
conduct for a brief time).
This affects the current available for
charging/discharging CL and
impacts propagation delay.

tp increases linearly with increasing


input rise time, tr, once tr > tp

tr is due to the limited driving


capability of the preceding gate
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tp(sec)

x 10-11

ts(sec)
for a minimum-size inverter
with a fan-out of a single gate

x 10-11

Inverter
Sizing

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CMOS Inverter Sizing


Out
metal1
metal2
pdiff
metal1-diff via

In
metal1-poly via
polysilicon
VDD
PMOS (4/.24 = 16/1)
NMOS (2/.24 = 8/1)
ndiff

GND

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metal2-metal1 via

Inverter Delay
Minimum length devices, L=0.25m
Assume that for WP = 2WN =2W
same pull-up and pull-down currents
approx. equal resistances RN = RP
approx. equal rise tpLH and fall tpHL delays
Analyze as an RC network
1
1
WP
WN

RP Runit
Runit
RN RW
Wunit
Wunit
Delay (D): tpHL = (ln 2) RNCL
Load for the next stage:
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tpLH = (ln 2) RPCL

C gin

W
3
Cunit
Wunit

2W

Inverter with Load


Delay

RW

CL
RW

Load (CL)

tp = k RWCL
k is a constant, equal to 0.69
Assumptions: no load -> zero delay
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Wunit = 1

Inverter with Load


CP = 2Cunit

Delay

2W
W

Cint

CL

CN = Cunit
Delay = kRW(Cint + CL) = kRW Cint(1+ CL /Cint)
= Delay (Internal) + Delay (Load)
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Load

Delay Formula
t p kR W C int 1 C L / C int t p 0 1 f /
Cint = Cgin

with 1

f = CL/Cgin

effective fanout

R = Runit/W ;
tp0 = 0.69RunitCunit
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Cint =WCunit

Inverter Chain

Real goal is to minimize the delay through an inverter chain

In

Out
Cg,1

the delay of the j-th inverter stage is


tp,j = tp0 (1 + Cg,j+1/(Cg,j)) = tp0(1 + fj/ )

and

tp = tp1 + tp2 + . . . + tpN

so

tp = tp,j = tp0 (1 + Cg,j+1/(Cg,j))

If CL is given
How should the inverters be sized?
How many stages are needed to minimize the delay?

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CL

Optimum Delay and


Number of Stages
When each stage is sized by f and has same fanout f:

F C L / C gin ,1

Effective fanout of each stage:

f NF
Minimum path delay

t p Nt p 0 1 N F /
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Example
In
C1

Out
1

f2

CL= 8 C1

CL/C1 has to be evenly distributed across N = 3 stages:

f 38 2

t p 3t p 0 1 2 /

Notice that in this case we may not have any time savings
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Optimal Number of
Inverters

What is the optimal value for N given F (=f N) ?


if the number of stages is too large, the intrinsic delay
dominates
if the number of stages is too small, the effective fan-out
dominates

The optimum N is found by differentiating the minimum


delay divided by the number of stages and setting the
result to 0,
For = 0 (ignoring self-loading) N = ln (F) and the
effective-fan out becomes f = e = 2.71828
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Optimum Number of
Stages
For a given load, CL and given input capacitance Cin
Find optimal sizing f
ln F
N
C L F Cin f Cin with N
ln f

t p Nt p 0 F

1/ N

/ 1

t p 0 ln F


t p t p 0 ln F ln f 1

ln 2 f

For = 0, f = e, N = lnF
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ln f ln f
f
0

f exp1 f

normalized delay

Fop

Optimum Effective FanOut

Choosing f larger than optimum has little effect on delay and


reduces the number of stages (and area).
Common practice to use f = 4 (for = 1)
Too many stages has a negative impact on delay

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Example of Inverter
(Buffer) Staging
1
Cg,1 = 1

CL = 64 Cg,1
8

1
Cg,1 = 1

tp

64

65

18

15

2.8

15.3

16

Cg,1 = 1
1

CL = 64 Cg,1
4

2.8

Cg,1 = 1
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CL = 64 Cg,1
8

22.6
CL = 64 Cg,1

Impact of Buffer Staging


for Large CL

F ( = 1)

Unbuffered

Two Stage
Chain

Opt. Inverter
Chain

10

11

8.3

8.3

100

101

22

16.5

1,000

1001

65

24.8

10,000

10,001

202

33.1

Impressive speed-ups with optimized cascaded inverter


chain for very large capacitive loads.

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Design Challenge

Keep signal rise times < gate propagation delays.


good for performance
good for power consumption

Keeping rise and fall times of the signals of


approximately equal values is one of the major
challenges in - slope engineering.

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Power
Dissipation

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Power Dissipation
Power consumption determines heat dissipation and
energy consumption
Power influences design decisions:
packaging and cooling
width of supply lines
power-supply capacity
# of transistors integrated on a single chip
Power requirements make high density bipolar ICs
impossible (feasibility, cost, reliability)
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Power Dissipation
Supplyline sizing

Battery
drain,
cooling

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Power Dissipation
Ppeak = static power + dynamic power
Dynamic power:
(dis)charging capacitors
temporary paths from VDD to VSS
proportional to switching frequency
Static power:
static conductive paths between rails
leakage
increases with temperature
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Power Dissipation
Propagation delay is related to power
consumption
tp determined by speed of charge transfer
fast charge transfer => fast gate
fast gate => more power consumption
Power-delay product (PDP)
quality measure for switching device
PDP = energy consumed /gate / switching
event
measured using ring oscillator
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Power Dissipation
Supplyline sizing

Battery
drain,
cooling

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Energy consumed /gate


/switching event

CMOS Inverter: Steady State


Response
CMOS technology:
No path exists between VDD and VSS in
steady state
No static power consumption! (ideally)
Main reason why CMOS replaced NMOS
NMOS technology:
Has NMOS pull-up device that is always ON
Creates voltage divider when pull-down is
ON
Power consumption limits # devices / chip
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Dynamic Power
Dissipation
Vdd

Vin

Vout
CL

Energy/transition = CL * Vdd2
Power = Energy/transition * f = CL * Vdd2 * f

Not a function of transistor sizes!


Need to reduce CL, Vdd, and f to reduce power.
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Modification for Circuits with Reduced Swing


Vdd
Vdd
VddVt
CL

E 0 1 = CL Vdd V dd Vt

Can exploit reduced swing to lower power


(e.g., reduced bit-line swing in memory)
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Node Transition Activity and Power


Consider switching a CMOS gate for N clock cycles
E

= C V 2 n N
N
L
dd

EN : the energy consumed for N clock cycles


n(N): the number of 0->1 transition in N clock cycles
EN
2
n N
P avg = lim fclk = lim C Vdd f clk
N N
N N
L

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01

n N
lim
N N

P av g = 0 1 C Vdd 2 f clk
L

Short Circuit Currents


Vdd

Vin

Vout
CL

IVDD (mA)

0.15

0.10

0.05

0.0

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1.0

2.0
3.0
Vin (V)

4.0

5.0

How to keep Short-Circuit Currents Low?

Short circuit current goes to zero if tout_fall >> tin_rise,


but cant do this for cascade logic.

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Minimizing Short-Circuit Power


8
7

Vdd =3.3

Vdd =2.5

Pnorm

5
4
3

Vdd =1.5

2
1
0

tsin/tsout

Keep the input and output rise/fall times equal


If VDD<Vth+|Vtp| then short circuit power can be eliminated
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Leakage
Vdd

Vout

Drain Junction
Leakage
Sub-Threshold
Current

Sub-threshold currents rise exponentially


Sub-Threshold Current Dominant Factor
with temperature.
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Reverse-Biased Diode Leakage


GATE

p+

p+

ReverseLeakageCurrent
+

V
dd

IDL=JSA

JS = 10-100 pA/mm2 at 25 deg C for 0.25mm CMOS


2
fora1.2mCMOStechnology
JS =15pA/m
JS doubles
for every
9 deg C!
J doublewithevery9oCincreaseintemperature

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s

Subthreshold Leakage Component

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Static Power Consumption


Vdd

Istat

Vin =5V

Vout

CL

Pstat = P(In=1).Vdd . Istat


Dominates over dynamic consumption
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Not a function of switching frequency

Principles for Power


Reduction

Prime choice: Reduce voltage!


Supply voltage was reduced from 5 V to 1V over
the years
25 time reduction of switching power

Reduce switching activity


Reduce physical capacitance
Device Sizing: for F=20
fopt(energy)=3.53, fopt(performance)=4.47

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Bad News

Voltage scaling has


stopped as well
kT/q does not scale
Vth scaling has power
consequences

If Vdd does not scale


Energy scales slowly
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Ed Nowak, IBM

Impact of
Technology
Scaling

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Goals of Technology
Scaling

Make things cheaper:


Want to sell more functions (transistors)
per chip for the same money
Build same products cheaper, sell the
same part for less money
Price of a transistor has to be reduced

But also want to be faster, smaller,


lower power

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Technology Scaling

Goals of scaling the dimensions by 30%:


Reduce gate delay by 30% (increase operating
frequency by 43%)
Double transistor density
Reduce energy per transition by 65% (50% power
savings @ 43% increase in frequency

Die size used to increase by 14% per


generation
Technology generation spans 2-3 years

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Technology Nodes
Green
in use
Orange
- in development
Blue
in plans

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Minimum Feature Size


(nm)

Technology Nodes
350
180
100
50
25
13

http://broadband02.ici.ro/program/klingenstein_3d.pdf
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Minimum Feature Size (nm)

Technology Nodes and


Minimum Feature Sizes
35
0
25
0
18
0
13
0
90
65
45
32
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http://broadband02.ici.ro/program/klingenstein_3d.pdf

Leakage currents

Currents [A/m]

http://broadband02.ici.ro/program/klingenstein_3d.pdf

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Supply voltage
http://broadband02.ici.ro/program/klingenstein_3d.pdf

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ITRS Technology Roadmap


Acceleration Continues

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ITRS Technology Roadmap


Acceleration Continues
SAT TV/WLAN
IMT2000

UWC136 Satellite Comm.

LMDS

RADAR
Automotive Military

76...78 94

201
6
201
3
201
0
200
7

http://broadband02.ici.ro/program/klingenstein_3d.pdf

200
4
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200
CMOS

SiGe-BICMOS

III-V (InP)

Technology Scaling

Minimum Feature Size (micron)

10

10

10

10

-1

-2

10
1960

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1970

1980

1990

Year

2000

Minimum Feature Size

2010

Technology Scaling
tp decreases by
13%/year
50% every
5 years!

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Propagation Delay

Technology Scaling Models


Full Scaling (Constant Electrical Field)
ideal model dimensions and voltage scale
together by the same factor S

Fixed Voltage Scaling


most common model until recently
only dimensions scale, voltages remain constant

General Scaling
most realistic for todays situation
voltages and dimensions scale with different factors
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Scaling Relationships for Long Channel


Devices

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Transistor Scaling
(velocity-saturated devices)

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Dilbert

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